Who has the bazooka? The red dot guy of course. Very early on it was obvious we needed a way to distinguish stands with infantry anti-tank weapons in Crossfire. We use a red dot next to the unit ID, on the stand label.
B-C-P S = Battalion, Company, Platoon, Squad
I’ve previously described my B-C-P system for Stand Labels – Unit Identification in Crossfire including Battalion Codes. Where B-C-P = Battalion, Company, Platoon. For example G-2-1 is a stand in the German Grenadier battalion, 2nd Company, 1st Platoon.
In 2008, when I originally dreamed up my scheme for Stand Labels – Unit Identification in Crossfire, I only distinguished one squad in each platoon on the label. The red dot guy. And the red dot guy, by default, has an infantry anti-tank weapon.
Now days I have a Squad ID on all my squad stands. The Squad ID is a coloured dot. This dot is the ID for the squad within the platoon. So my ID regime is really: B-C-P S = Battalion, Company, Platoon, Squad. Only the rifle/SMG stands get a dot.
Most nations only get three squads to a platoon, but the early war Soviets get four. So I need four unique dots. I use shape and colour: Red circle, Yellow diamond, White star, and Green square. All platoons get the first three and I add a Green square for the big Soviet platoons.
Squad dot scheme:
- Red circle = Rifle Squad with Infantry Anti-tank (IAT)
- Yellow diamond = Rifle Squad with LMG
- White star = Normal Rifle squad
- Green square = 4th Rifle squad only available to Soviets in early war
I went for a dot, rather than a number or letter, to make it discrete yet really obvious. All squads have a dot but it is only important for the red dot, so I didn’t want it to stand out too much. I also wanted to avoid confusion with the Company/Platoon numbers and battalion letter; no point confusing the poor players unnecessarily. The Squad dot is different, it indicates the nature of the squad, what they squad is equipped with. In contrast the letter and numbers (battalion-company-platoon) indicate which squads a particular PC controls.
The image below is for unit ID F-2-3, i.e. Fallschirmjaeger Battalion, 2nd Company, 3rd platoon. Hopefully it is obvious to you who the red dot guy is.
Um, if you don’t use the other dots, why have them?
Well, yes, good question … “if I don’t use the other dots, why have them?”
I think it was to let me use the same stands for other game systems, e.g. Megablitz. So the dot isn’t a Squad ID it is a Battalion ID.
Okay, I admit, I’ve never used them.
Why not use figures with the right weapon?
When I original wrote up the idea of the red dot guy, I didn’t explain why I’d done it that way.
Infantry anti-tank weapons changed during the course of the war, from anti-tank rifles to things that went bang-wallop (bazookas, piats, panzerfausts, panzershreks). I didn’t particularly want to use a figure with a later panzerfaust in the early war, etc. So my initial German/Spanish and Soviet battalions did not have any figures with infantry anti-tank weapons. I could feel comfortable using them for the entire war. The scenario specified whether the red dot guy had a anti-tank rifle or a panzershrek in a particular scenario.
In some of my mid to late war battalions, e.g. Fallschirmjaeger, I have put an appropriately equipped figure on the base. This is because the uniform screams late war anyway. So it doesn’t hurt to have the bang-wallop weapons to match. But I only put those weapons on a stand with a red dot. 😉
How to allocate Infantry Anti-tank weapons in a game
For my WW2 units I mark one stand / platoon as having IAT in addition to their normal weapons – the red dot guy. This scheme has the advantage that for particular games I can specify any of these possibilities:
- Red dot squad has a Anti-tank rifle
- Red dot squad has a panzerfaust/bazooka/piat
- Red dot squad has a panzershreck and others have panzerfaust.
Historically, I believe, infantry anti-tank weapons were issued at the company level. So, for example, in Crossfire there should be 3 squads per company with anti-tank rifle. Perhaps all in a single platoon or spread one per platoon. My red dot scheme is the “spread” option. The single platoon thing is easy to represent. Just designate a platoon with ATR and the other platoons don’t.
For more complicated combinations the answer is:
a. Nominate more than one dot within certain platoons
b. or don’t bother. We never do. Life is too short.
Bit of history
Actually it was Vince Lody was started the red dot thing. I guess I can claim credit for the dot. He went red. I originally put a white dot on the back edge of one stand within each platoon so I’d know who had the bazooka (or panzerfaust or whatever).
When he got his figures, Vince followed my lead, but forgot the colour. So he went for red. I just quietly repainted my dots to match his.
And when my Stand Labels moved to the top of the base, the red dot followed them. And then got joined by other coloured dots, as above.